Last night was the big Costume Ball at the Guthrie Theatre. Several years ago the Guthrie built a brand new facility overlooking the river in downtown Minneapolis. Since then they have had several fundraising events, but nothing quite of this magnitude.
There was a dinner and other festivities early in the evening, but the $250 dinner ticket proved a bit too steep, so we decided to attend the dance portion of the evening, which was $10. An incredibly inexpensive cost for the fun that we had.
We were essentially a band of 18th century French-ish folks, with two Italians, an Elizabethan, and a pirate to round out the mix. Almost everyone there was wearing something that I had made, or something I had helped to make and it was really an amazing thing for me to see. I’ve had a busy couple of weeks and sometimes it is nice to reinforce to yourself that what you are doing is worth the time and frustration.
Princess looked amazing in her robe a la Francaise and the dress moved beautifully. A big thanks again to Katherine for her excellent tutorial. Princess did a really lovely updo for her hair, and her feather eyelashes were a fun touch.
The Cheap Chick wore her new purple pet en l’air, and she looked lovely. I had previously tried my hand at lattice smocking a la Katafalk’s tutorial, (Check out her blog – her leather work is STUNNING.) and I had attempted to do sleeves that way. What started out as an incredibly large amount of fabric wound up as a very pretty 12 x 8 inch piece of smocking. Apparently my math was a bit off. We wound up using it as the Chick’s stomacher, and it was really kind of fun. I suggested putting pearls in the cross-sections, but the Chick just looked at me like I was a bit insane. Which is possible.
Georgie wore her red taffeta and white flocked brocade Elizabethan that we had made for her TWO years ago. She has never had a chance to wear it. We call it her Mina dress, as it reminds me of the red dress worn by Mina in “Dracula.” Her partlett was made using blackworked fabric from Joann Fabrics. I have seen so many partletts made of this fabric over the last few years. Joann’s must have had a run on the stuff. She decided to sass it up with her big curly ponytail.
Lately the WP has had an influx of Amandas. We have three new probationary members named Amanda, and they all needed nicknames to tell them apart. Thus Georgie’s Amanda was christened “Mina.” Which confused all kinds of people when Georgie told them that she was wearing her “Mina” gown. Mina is a huge Star Wars fan and has been a joy to have around. She made her French gown using a Simplicity pattern and info gleaned from various blogs. She blogs about her outfits here. Her mask was purchased on a trip to Italy.
MamaRox wore her Courtesan that she wore at last year’s Teslacon with the Wig of Glory, this time supplemented with extra butterflies and feathers. She actually had to bend over to pass under some of the doorways – in addition to the wig MamaRox is a tall drink of
water rum. The dress was inspired by Cathy Hay’s version of the Pirates of the Caribbean gown worn in the first movie by Keira Knightly.
Chum (MamaRox’s sister) wore the pink Franglaise that I had made for Costume Con. I finally finished the hat, and she put the extra trim down the center of the top, and added the feathers and bling. She also added bling to the stomacher. It was a great color on her. And ALL that hair was her own. No fake hair needed. Chum has EPIC hair.
DME found out about the ball at the last minute and needed a dress. We pinned her into my old polonaise gown, but because we have a significant height difference we added extra tucks to the gown and had to bring the underskirt up to empire level. She has beautiful naturally curly hair and her updo was incredibly easy to do. She looked adorable.
TZ made the trek from northern MN, and wore her lovely Italian courtesan outfit from last year’s Invasion. I don’t have a good picture of her from last night, so this is one from last year. She even painted her shoes red for the occasion!
TOL (the Other Laura, or Cajun Laura to my Original Recipe Laura) and her husband Brad came along as well. TOL was the first person I had draped a francaise on and she was beyond understanding about the amount of time my learning curve took. The color of the gown was a very flattering color on her and she did so much work on that dress to get it done in time for the event. She had beautiful eggplant colored lace on the sleeves that she got from the Garment District on our trip to NYC. Brad wore a frock coat that he had purchased at the sale last weekend, and a doublet/vest made by TOL. She also made his hat from upholstery fabric and it is incredibly cool. I am not sure where her mask is from, but it was very fun. They are one of the best couples I have ever met.
I wore my blue courtesan gown with the beaded sleeves. Luckily Princess brought along a bodice chiller – it was warm at the ball! I made it about an hour and a half and then I had to take the sleeves off. Two extra layers of silk on each arm was way too much. The Chick stored them in her pocket hoops for me and commented that they were really heavy. I said, “I know, I was wearing them!”
I decided to really try for a Dangerous Beauty hairstyle this time for fun, and wore a hairpiece that I purchased at Lacey’s Costume Wigs in NYC. It was very long, and originally on a banana clip. I took the clip off and sewed in some combs. I curled my hair all over first with my Hot Tools ribbon curling iron (I LOVE that curling iron – deeply and truly), and then the Chick and MamaRox attempted to do a sort of pulled back bun over the hair. The color was a very close match to my own hair (like I said before, never doubt the little old man who has been color matching for years) and was kind of fun to have. It got caught in my sleeves and shoulder rolls constantly and was rather warm, but fun to wear. My bangs, as usual, were difficult and pretty much did their own thing. I really need to find some other things to do with them.
We ran into my Santa and his Mrs. Claus there as well. They were dressed in their swing dance outfits and looked great. They were a huge hit. (Check out the candy can cigarette!)
We met up with Jesus (a friend from MNRF) and told a lot of Rapture jokes. The Chick wanted her picture taken with him, and MamaRox decided to photobomb.
We also saw Jareth the Goblin King from “Labyrinth.” He told us his hair was actually a Tina Turner wig!
We saw Harry Potter and various other Potter friends, teachers and acquaintences.
There were unicorns and turbaned folks, Mad Men and flappers, Mario Brothers and the guys from Top Gun (Navy dress white uniforms FTW!). There was also this stunning outfit, which the lady told me was rented from the Guthrie from their production of “Don Quixote.”
I also had a group picture taken with all the people wearing dresses I had made or worked on.
The Chick and I had our obligatory Posse Co-Founders photo.
There was a lot of “too much RAWK for one hand.”
There was Vogueing in some of the glass bay windows.
And a little My Space Face action.
And finally, (as per TOL) a shoe shot at the end of the night.
The music was mostly good, the people watching was fantastic, and the cocktails were incredibly expensive. I had someone come up to me and ask me if we had rented our costumes from the theatre, and that was by far the best compliment we got. I really hope this is an annual event, as we really had a great time.
The evening ended with a huge thunderstorm complete with small hail, and The Chick and Princess abandoned their outfits in the back of my car so they wouldn’t get them wet, and Georgie and I ran into the house with hoop skirts over our heads like umbrellas. We wound up sitting in our jeans and yoga pants in a big heap on Chum’s oriental rug eating snacks at 1:30am. It really doesn’t get much better than that.